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Schmidt's Sophomores Give Bonnies Strong Foundation

Schmidt's Sophomores Give Bonnies Strong Foundation

St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt is like any other coach in Division I. Given his druthers, he'd love to have a pair of senior guards to lead his backcourt.

No such luxury exists for the Bonnies this season, who have only one junior or senior on the roster who has played a minute for them.

So it will be up to guards Kyle Lofton and Dominick Welch and forward Osun Osunniyi to carry this year's team, especially in the early going.

"We have old sophomores," Schmidt said. "That's the right verbiage. Kyle played [37] minutes a game. Dom Welch played [29] minutes a game. Osun played [27] minutes a game. Our three best players and our three most experienced players are sophomores, which is really unheard of. Those sophomores have to lead our team."

Schmidt had a heart-to-heart with Lofton early last season, urging a player who viewed himself as a pass-first point guard to become more assertive. That paid dividends last season, and should help even more this winter.

Lofton, a Preseason Second Team All-Conference Selection, should be the Bonnies' best player as a sophomore. But Schmidt knows it can't just be a three-man game if St. Bonaventure is to remain in the top third of the Atlantic 10 again this season.

"We have to get two or three of the new guys to play like Atlantic 10 players early in the year," Schmidt said. "That's the challenge. I think we have good Atlantic 10 players. I just don't know when they're going to become good Atlantic 10 players."

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